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Graduate Spotlight

Allison Jones, MFA Theatre: Costume Design, 2021

Allison Jones (MFA Costume Design, 2021) is a costume designer graduating from the Purdue Department of Theatre. She joined the graduate program at Purdue after completing her BA in theatre arts at Northern Kentucky University. Allison is known for her bold aesthetic, captured by the marker and linework she emphasizes in her renderings.  She loves horror and a bit of gore and challenging gender expectations in clothing.

Allison has completed assistantships both in the costume construction studio and the classroom, having taught Makeup Design and Intro to Costume Design and Technology. Her love for stage makeup was catching as she forged easy connections with her students.

Purdue has kept her busy as a costume designer for four main stage productions in the Department of Theatre: In the Blood, Nell Gwynn, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, and These Shining Lives, as well as for the workshop Spic-O-Rama. Allison served as the assistant costume designer and hair/makeup designer for The Two Gentlemen of Verona, milliner for Mother Courage and Her Children and Nell Gwynn, and as a stitcher for She Kills Monsters, Next to Normal, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. She has worked professionally at Fonseca Theatre, Summer Stock Stage, Commonwealth Theatre, and Arkansas Shakespeare.

"I really appreciate Allison’s willingness to put her creative and technical perspectives out there. She will dive in, try out new tools, and find ways to integrate her aesthetic in almost everything.." -Faculty Mentor Ashley Bellet

In her designs for Nell Gwynn, Allison’s terminal project, the application of contemporary and bold prints combined with period silhouettes was striking. She says of Nell Gwynn, “The audience participates in a meta-theatrical experience as they watch both our production as well as the performances taking place within it. The “fourth wall” continues to be broken with the use of removable trims and accessories. Ribbon loops, stomachers, sleeves, and skirts are manipulated right before the audience’s eyes. The Restoration period is represented through the historical silhouettes, but with the unveiled use of modern closures like snaps, zippers, and magnets, the audience never quite loses site of the modern theatre space the play occupies.”

Allison has a diverse range of construction and creation skills, including millinery, stage makeup, leather working, distressing, shibori, devore, and metal working.

To see her work and to explore Allison’s portfolio now, visit Her creativity and unique perspective will be missed in the department, but she won’t go too far from campus just yet – you can see more of her work at Purdue next November as she returns as guest costume designer for Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés!